The bold sound of tenor saxophonist Pharoah Sanders
is unique, just like his feel for harmony and dynamics. Ferrell Sanders, his given name, started out as a clarinetist but switched to saxophone after hearing the likes of Charlie Parker and Sonny Rollins. Sanders’ roots lie in the free jazz scene of the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1961 he moved to New York where he played with contemporaries like Don Cherry and Sun Ra. In 1964, John Coltrane asked Sanders to join his band. In the same year, Sanders also recorded his first album as a bandleader. A whole series of releases on various labels quickly followed. Perhaps his best-known work is the album Message From Home,
which he recorded in 1996 with famed producer Bill Laswell. Sanders has released less new work in recent years but his live shows are still of an incredibly high quality.